LACBA Black History Month Honorees

LACBA Celebrates 140 Years of Service to the Los Angeles Legal Community and Recognizes Past and Present Bar Leaders in Honor of Black History Month

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Matty Jallow Baby

Twenty-one-year LACBA veteran staff member Matty Jallow Baby is the Administrative & Advertising Coordinator in the Marketing and Communications Department. Her primary responsibilities include support of all facets of the operations of Los Angeles Lawyer magazine, including, but not limited to circulation, audit, accounts receivables, listserve management, CLE Self-Test administration, and customer service. Matty proudly hails from the Republic of The Gambia and became a U.S. citizen in 1991. During her time at LACBA, Matty completed her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration while raising a family. "Matty is an immeasurable asset to LACBA. She is well organized and extremely efficient. Matty also has a positive attitude, helping her co-workers stay grounded during challenging times," says her supervisor.

Dianne Baquet Smith

Dianne Baquet Smith is a partner in the Labor and Employment Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin's Los Angeles office. Ms. Smith represents management in litigation of wrongful discharge, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour, breach of contract, breach of public policy, ERISA, and other types of employment cases, through trial. She chairs Sheppard Mullin’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee and is a member of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Strategic Council. Ms. Smith is currently a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Diversity in the Profession Committee and its Labor & Employment Law and Litigation Sections.

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Craig S. Barnes

Craig Barnes is a partner at Clyde & Co where he focuses his practice in the areas of catastrophic loss, complex business litigation, product liability and general tort litigation. An active trial attorney, Mr. Barnes has tried several high profile matters to verdict on behalf of public and private entities. Mr. Barnes is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, serving for many years on the Diversity in the Profession Committee and the Judicial Evaluations Committee. He also recently served as a coach for a local high school mock trial team entered in the Constitutional Rights Foundation Los Angeles County Mock Trial Competition. Mr. Barnes is a member of the National Bar Association, the California Association of Black Lawyers and the Langston Bar Association as well as the American Board of Trial Advocates and the American Bar Association.

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Duane Beasley

Duane Beasley is a Partner in Orrick’s Structured Finance Group. Duane’s practice focuses on securitizations, warehouse financings and various other types of debt finance transactions for banks, non-bank lenders, fintech companies and private equity funds. He serves as the chairperson for the Los Angeles Office’s Diversity Committee and is a member of the Los Angeles Office’s Employment Committee. He also serves on the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Diversity in the Profession Committee. At UCLA Law, he served as Community Service Coordinator for the Black Law Students Association and was a Law Fellows Mentor.

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Tambry Lynette Bradford

Tambry Lynette Bradford is a partner in the Commercial Litigation Practice Group of Pepper Hamilton LLP, resident in the Los Angeles and Orange County offices. Ms. Bradford's practice encompasses a wide range of complex commercial litigation matters involving claims of fraud, unfair competition, due process violations, contract disputes and products liability. Ms. Bradford is a former member of the California Minority Counsel Program Ambassadors Council, a 2016 Fellow of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, and a volunteer for the Los Angeles County Bar Association Domestic Violence Project.

Kimberly Buffington

Kimberly Buffington, a Pillsbury partner and noted class action, trial and appellate lawyer, has a proven track record of securing multimillion-dollar awards for her clients. Skilled in trials, appeals and arbitrations, Kim has been successfully litigating consumer class actions and complex intellectual property, insurance coverage and commercial cases for 20+ years. Co-leader of Pillsbury’s Internet and Social Media team, Kim regularly represents technology companies, startups and other businesses in social media and copyright-related matters. She asserts and defends trademark, privacy rights and licensing disputes for recording artists, radio stations, and entertainment companies, and has recovered $50+ million for insurance policyholders. In 2017, she became the managing partner of Pillsbury’s 85-lawyer Los Angeles office. This year, she was named among the "Most Influential Minority Attorneys in Los Angeles” by the Los Angeles Business Journal. Kim is currently a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Litigation Section.

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Carmen J. Cole

Carmen Cole is a Principal in the Los Angeles office of Am Law 100 firm, Polsinelli LLP. Carmen practices in the firm’s Labor & Employment Department, which was ranked in Tier 1 by U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Law Firms” for 2018. Carmen’s creativity, enthusiasm, and prior experience as a Human Resources professional make her a valued resource in resolving clients' industry-specific, one-of-a-kind employment law disputes. Carmen not only understands clients' legal issues, but she also understands clients' businesses. Her knowledge of the ins and outs of a client's business is the foundation for the sound advice and legal strategies she provides to clients. Carmen currently is on the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Amicus Briefs and Diversity in the Profession Committee. She also serves on the President’s Advisory Committee on Women in the Legal Profession and is a Labor & Employment Section member.

Gary A. Farwell

While sustaining a practice focusing on juvenile delinquency and more recently, probate litigation, Attorney Farwell has always found time to volunteer his services. He helped found and create the Sunday Free Legal Clinic at First A.M.E. Church, Los Angeles. He assisted in the start-up of what is now known as The Mesereau Free Legal Clinic. He volunteers on a monthly basis at the Harriet Buhai Center for Family Law. He also has helped injured parties monthly for the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Domestic Violence Legal Services Project since 2000. "A longtime volunteer of the DVP, Gary has given several hundred hours of his time to assisting victims of domestic violence. He is regarded for his ability to communicate effectively with victims of domestic violence and has earned an excellent reputation among the DVP personnel due to his dedication to our mission," says Sara Rondon, Director of the Domestic Violence Legal Services Project.

Christine Chambers Goodman

Christine Goodman joined the Pepperdine faculty in 2001, and teaches Comparative Anti-Discrimination Law, Evidence, and Trial Practice. She has participated in the Global Justice Program in Uganda and India, and taught in the London Program. Professor Goodman also has taught courses in Community Outreach/Youth Mentoring, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, and Trial Preparation and Settlement. She serves as an advisor to the Black Law Students' Association and the Women's Legal Association, and has been a mock trial team coach. Professor Goodman served as the 2016-2017 President of California Women Lawyers, and on the Executive Committees of the AALS Evidence and Litigation sections. She is also on the board of Schools on Wheels, a local nonprofit that provides tutors and school supplies for homeless youths. She has served as an officer of the Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, on the Board of Trustees of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and was chair of its Diversity in the Profession Committee.

Shanice Hawthorne

Shanice Hawthorne, Program Coordinator for the Los Angeles County Bar Association Independent Juvenile Defender Program, is a HBCU (Historically Black Colleges & Universities) graduate with a degree in Criminal Justice. She is committed to building a career focused on service and social justice. In joining the LACBA IJDP program, she was enthused by the opportunity to participate in the wave of reform present currently in the field of Juvenile advocacy. In her LACBA IJDP Program Coordinator position, Ms. Hawthorne provides wide ranging administrative roles. These roles include managing case distribution for IJDP attorneys, expert referrals, expert appointment distribution, contract investigators and social workers, and PACE (Professional Appointee Court Expenditure). Additionally, Ms. Hawthorne administers the collection and management of quality of representation data for attorneys practicing on the LACBA IJDP East Panel, which includes the central juvenile delinquency courthouse for Los Angeles County, and serves as the court liaison between LACBA IJDP and the Eastlake and Pomona Juvenile Courts.

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Karen A. Henry

Karen, counsel in the Los Angeles office of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, is an experienced litigator, with a diverse practice focusing primarily on First Amendment and employment litigation. In her employment practice, Karen skillfully defends corporate employers across industries against a wide variety of claims brought by current or former employees, including claims for discrimination, retaliation, and harassment. In her First Amendment practice, Karen passionately defends the First Amendment freedoms of creators and distributors of a wide variety of entertainment content from claims alleging copyright-infringement, right-of-publicity violations, theft of ideas, defamation, Lanham Act violations, or other claims arising from the content of creative works. In all aspects of her practice, Karen’s approach is centered around learning her clients’ goals and tailoring her representation to help her clients meet those goals. Karen also believes fervently in giving back and has volunteered countless hours with the Los Angeles County Bar Association's AIDS Legal Services Project. She was the recipient of LACBA’s 2015 Benjamin Aranda III Outstanding Public Service Award.

Cheryl M. Lott

Buchalter Shareholder Cheryl M. Lott represents corporate clients, banks, mortgage companies and other financial institutions in both state and federal court. Her practice focuses on general business and commercial litigation, as well as construction defect litigation, toxic tort defense, class action defense, special assets related litigation, and labor and employment litigation. She has significant experience in preparing all aspects of a case for trial or arbitration. Ms. Lott also has extensive experience working on local, state, and federal regulatory matters and government procurement matters. She is currently a Los Angeles County Bar Association Litigation Section member and serves on its Executive Committee. Ms. Lott was recently recognized as a “Most Influential Minority Attorney” by the Los Angeles Business Journal. She is also currently serving as the President Elect of the Alumni Association of UCLA.

Angela J. Reddock-Wright
Angela J. Reddock-Wright

Named a "Top California Employment Lawyer" by the Daily Journal, and one of Los Angeles' "Most Influential Minority Attorneys" and "Most Influential Women Lawyers" by the Los Angeles Business Journal, Angela Reddock-Wright is the Founding and Managing Partner of the Reddock Law Group, a boutique employment and labor law mediation, arbitration and investigation firm based in Los Angeles. Angela is currently on the Los Angeles County Bar Association Board of Trustees and is a Labor and Employment section member.

Alfred E. Smith, II-photo
Alfred E. Smith, II

Alfred Smith, Chair of Nossaman's Water Practice Group, is a recognized expert in water and environmental law. A graduate of the Harvard Law School, he has successfully litigated multiple water right adjudications, and he has secured more than $750 million worth of contamination settlements in favor of his clients. Mr. Smith has successfully litigated at all levels. His accomplishments include helping negotiate one of California's largest water contamination mitigation settlements in favor of his clients and winning a unanimous decision from the U.S. Supreme Court. Alfred is currently an Environmental Law and Litigation Section member at the Los Angeles County Bar Association. He was also featured on the cover of the February 2015 issue of Los Angeles Lawyer magazine.

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Wilma J. Pinder

Former Assistant City Attorney Wilma J. Pinder has always been active in the legal community. Wilma retired from the City Attorney’s Office after 30 years of service in 2008. She was known as a tough litigator, yet being diplomatic to her clients and opposing counsel. Wilma credits her diverse background as a key to her success in the courtroom. She has degrees in both sociology and psychology. Wilma graduated from UCLA Law School, and attended undergraduate school at Howard University where she received a Master’s of Science. She also has a Bachelor’s degree from USC, where she met her husband. In retirement Mrs. Pinder considers herself a cheerleader for the legal profession, often mentoring and encouraging young attorneys. She is still very active with local bar associations. She is a member of the Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, the Langston Bar Association, California Association of Black Lawyers and the Los Angeles County Bar Association. She believes LACBA is a great place to keep in touch with peers and stay abreast of current legal matters. Wilma takes advantage of the many legal trainings at associations, and one of her future goals is to be a mediator. Wilma is also known as a world traveler and still loves to travel in her free time.

Kendra Thomas photo
Kendra Thomas

Attorney Kendra Thomas is a Certified Family Law Specialist serving clients in the Southern California area at Thomas Law Offices, in Woodland Hills and in Newport Beach, CA. Thomas Law Offices is a values-driven law firm, guided by principles of excellence, leadership, and citizenship. Kendra currently serves on the Los Angeles County Bar Association Board of Trustees as well as being an Outstanding Jurist Committee and Family Law Section member.

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Karin E. White

Karin E. White is parlaying her twenty-two years as a police officer and her investigative experience with the Superior Court Panel of Investigators into her new role as Lead Investigator for the IJD Program. She has served as an expert for the Federal Public Defender’s Office and worked with the ICDA for fourteen years. She has extensive knowledge of the justice system as well as the landscape of investigation in Los Angeles County. In her capacity as Lead Investigator, Ms. White worked closely with Hon. Terry Bork to create a juvenile-specific panel of investigators to account for referrals beyond the capacity of the IJDP office. Actively recruiting the most qualified service providers, Ms. White provides oversight and administration of the investigator panel and is responsible for the management and distribution of cases. Additionally, Ms. White serves the IJDP panel directly, providing investigative services on transfer cases and cases involving the most serious offenses. Her hard work and dedication has repeatedly aided in major sentence reductions and dismissals for our clients and she has proven to be an incredible asset to the IJDP’s attorneys and the juveniles they represent.

Samuel L. Williams

Mr. Williams was the first African-American to serve as president of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (1977) and the State Bar of California (1981). He was named one of LACBA's Trailblazers of the Bar (2011) and received its highest honor—The Shattuck-Price Outstanding Lawyer Award (1988)—for his extraordinary contribution to improving the administration of justice in Los Angeles County. Mr. Williams also served as president of the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners and National Conference of Bar Presidents.

Phyllis Hauser, Demi Clark and Shirleen Yorke (L-R)
Phyllis Hauser, Demi Clark and Shirleen Yorke (L-R)

LACBA’s Member Services Department is led by Department Director and 21 year veteran, Phyllis Hauser. Phyllis worked in LACBA’s Information Technology Department for the first 15 years of her tenure, and joined the Member Services Department 6 years ago. LACBA’s current Reception/Customer Care team consists of 15 year LACBA veteran, Shirleen Yorke, and Demi Clark, who is a relatively new addition. Shirleen and Demi manage the switchboard and welcome all members and visitors who come to LACBA’s offices. The Member Services Department handles all of LACBA’s incoming calls and assists callers in joining or renewing their LACBA membership, registering for an event, and many other customer service related tasks.